Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mr. Vertigo

    My fifth and final of Danny's What Should Kester Read? picks is Paul Auster's Mr. Vertigo. Not sure what I was expecting with this book, but this wasn't it. This was better. Much better. Auster's writing is hit and miss with me, but this one is a hit, for sure.
    There are a lot of nice surprises in this book and I don't want to reveal too much. In a way, it's a story about America during the 20th century by being the story of a boy coming of age into a man and then aging into an older man over the span of that same century. As a result, it feels like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Natural and Philip Roth's Zuckerman novels and David James Duncan's The Brothers K. It's magic and it's Hollywood and it's gangsters and it's baseball and it's WWII and it's the Ku Klux Klan. It's the kind of book the Coen brothers should adapt into a film. It's a knowing wink and a sad smile. It's jaunty and joyful and winsome and wild. It's the kind of story that doesn't get told much anymore, because it takes place in a time since the Civil War and before the cellular phone. It's lovely and I loved it and I think that you will too.

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